BHCA Zoning to Meet on June 8

The Zoning and Licensing Committee of the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) will meet Wednesday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. at 74 Joy Street.  All meetings are open to the public.  If you have any questions or comments regarding the matters to be heard, please attend.  If you are unable to attend but would like to express an opinion, please call (617.227.1922), write (74 Joy Street, Boston, MA 02114) or send an email to the BHCA office ([email protected]) prior to the meeting.  BHCA policies and additional information on these matters are posted on the BHCA website at

87 West Cedar Street – Request to change legal occupancy of the building from 13 apartments to 12 apartments and one therapy office, requiring a variance from BZC Art. 8, Sec. 7, “use forbidden in the residential zoning district.”

The building use is listed with ISD as “13 apartments” and was so occupied until early in 2015 when the owner’s daughter first occupied the garden-level unit (which has its own entrance from the street, designated 87A West Cedar Street) as an office for her practice as a licensed mental health counselor and, on alternate days, for her husband’s practice as a licensed massage therapist. The building owner avers that she was advised that the office use was allowed in this location, but ISD properly cited the illegal use (and related lack of an accessible entrance due to steps down into the unit from street level).

To remedy the violations cited by ISD, the owner has applied for variances to legalize the use of unit 87A (also known as 1A) as a therapy office with limited accessibility. The appeal states that (a) the operators (building owner’s daughter and daughter’s husband) provide needed services in an informal setting to a predominantly walk-in clientele, many of them Beacon Hill residents, and (b) the business is quiet and unobtrusive and will have no adverse impact on abutters or the neighborhood.

Applicant’s request:  That the BHCA vote not to oppose the requested zoning relief. This would require an exception to the BHCA policy of opposition to such variances and opposition to allowing new commercial uses in the residential zoning district (Zoning & Licensing Policies #4, #5 and #7; see also Policy #10).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.